This Memorial Day is the fifth one that Mantegna has spent performing in the PBS National Memorial Concert and he admits he starts thinking about the event six months earlier.
Mantegna will be doing dramatic readings prior to musical numbers by Lee Ann Womack, John Schneider and Big And Rich and he feels proud that the concert makes a pro-soldier statement regardless of political beliefs.
Theres been a more personal fringe benefit for Mantegna who, for the last three years, has brought his 83-year-old army vet uncle to the concert.
Mantegna says the ovations given to veterans who attend the show help guys like his Uncle Jack open up about their experience.
Thats important to Mantegna, who points out that the guys who fought World War II were part of a special generation and were losing them each day.
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